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Br J Psychiatry. 2004 Jun;184:470-6.

Somatoform disorders in general practice: prevalence, functional impairment and comorbidity with anxiety and depressive disorders.

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  • 1Department of General Practice and Nursing Home Medicine, Leiden University Medical Centre, The Netherlands. M.W.M.de_Waal@lumc.nl

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

General practitioners play a pivotal part in the recognition and treatment of psychiatric disorders. Identifying somatoform disorders is important for the choice of treatment.

AIMS:

To quantify the prevalence of, and functional impairment associated with, somatoform disorders, and their comorbidity with anxiety/depressive disorders.

METHOD:

Two-stage prevalence study: a set of questionnaires was completed by 1046 consecutive patients of general practitioners (aged 25-80 years), followed by a standardised diagnostic interview (SCAN 2.1).

RESULTS:

The prevalence of somatoform disorders was 16.1% (95% CI 12.8-19.4). When disorders with only mild impairment were included, the prevalence increased to 21.9%. Comorbidity of somatoform disorders and anxiety/depressive disorders was 3.3 times more likely than expected by chance. In patients with comorbid disorders, physical symptoms, depressive symptoms and functional limitations were additive.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings underline the importance of a comprehensive diagnostic approach to psychiatric disorders in general practice.

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PMID:
15172939
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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